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Marshall, Eric Stewart

Marshall, Eric Stewart

Alias: None

Title: Dr

Rank: Major (Royal Army Medical Corps)

Dates: 1879-1963

Nationality: British

Awards: Polar Medal (silver); Military Cross

Eric Stewart Marshall was born on 29 May 1879 in Hampstead, London. He was educated at Monckton Combe School and then read medicine at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He continued his medical studies at St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, qualifying in 1906.

Marshall joined the British Antarctic Expedition 1907-09 (Nimrod) as surgeon and cartographer with the shore party. He was a member of the party making the first ascent of Mount Erebus, which reached the summit 10 March 1908. He was also a member of the Southern Party, led by Shackleton, which set out on 29 October 1908 with the aim of reaching the South Pole, getting as far as 88°23' S. During the return journey, Marshall saved the lives of the party by struggling on to a food depot when the others were too exhausted to move.

In 1909-11, Marshall was medical officer on a British Ornithologists' Union expedition to New Guinea which ended in disaster, with 23 of the 24 members dying from malaria or beri-beri and Marshall the sole survivor. Marshall went on to research nutritional deficiency diseases, and had a successful a military career. He served with distinction in the Royal Army Medical Corps during World War I, joining as a Lieutenant and quickly rising up the ranks to Major. He joined up again during World War II, reaching the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

Marshall married Enid in 1922. He farmed in Kenya for a while, and after World War II became a medical officer for the Ministry of Pensions. He retired to the Isle of Wight, and died on 26 February 1963.

Marshall was awarded both a Polar Medal and a Military Cross. His feat as one of four men who reached Shackleton's Farthest South, within 97 miles of the South Pole, is commemorated by the Marshall Mountains 84°37' S 164°30' E. His elder brother, Edward Hillis Marshall, served with the Discovery Expeditions 1925-27 and 1929-31.


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